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Whether you will use Business Manager?

Discussion in 'Plesk 10.x for Linux Suggestions and Feedback' started by IgorG, Nov 12, 2010.

?

Whether you will use Business Manager?

  1. Yes

    28.6%
  2. No

    71.4%
  1. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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    If no - please write your reasons.
     
  2. lhwparis

    lhwparis Guest

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    My arguments against Business Manager from the other post again:

    i have uninstalled Business Manager too because i think it is much too much. I need a "smart but strong" hosting control panel to manage hosting and give my customers access to manage their hostings - nothing more. With Business Manager the left menu and other parts of Plesk are so much overloaded. I have to create subscriptions in Business Manager no longer in Plesk and so on. I dont like the deep integration. hosting-management and billing are often very different offices in a company so i prefer two pieces of software perfectly working together over a merged solution.
    We use a different solution for billing. storefront is nice to have but i think many people who need such a feature do it their own way and integrate it with PLESK API into Plesk. In my case this is the way to go.

    Plesk10 is great! New service-plan-model is great! But In my oppinion to much developement time has gone to the whole new Business Manager and now their are missing parts in plesk10-core like skin support, apiDoc and a few other things till now. I vote for developeing new plesk-core features (some discussed in this forum) and bring back old features available in plesk8/9 over more "Business features".
     
  3. lhwparis

    lhwparis Guest

    0
     
  4. jcgalvez

    jcgalvez Basic Pleskian

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    Business manager for a single plesk instance or for a start-up business may be a good idea, but having to manage 10 different instances of business manager each one installed on a different server may not be a good idea.

    Myself I use a single solution from a dead company, but still works and is good enough to keep my business flowing, so that's the reason why I do not need business manager and the idea to "autoinstall" may not be atractive for me and disrupts the normal way to work.

    Thank you a lot.

    Javier
     
  5. Sergey L

    Sergey L Golden Pleskian Staff Member

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    Actually you don't need to run 10 different instances of Business Manager. It is much better to run one instance (say on the first of your Plesk servers) and connect all other Plesk servers to it. This way the one keeps all business/invoicing staff in a single place (Business Manager) and also can sell different platform services to their customers - like one subscription is Unix and another one is Windows.

    Regards
     
  6. Scy

    Scy Basic Pleskian

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    As and if this is the case, that single instance of the business manager can handle multiple Plesk servers centralized, I think this whole Customer and Business Manager is a right step to right direction from Parallels. We have already briefly waltroughed some of the Plesk interface and the Business Manager too and it sounds very promising.

    Refering the documentation/administration guide:
    http://download1.parallels.com/Ples...k-10-business-manager-administrator-guide.pdf

    part. C H A P T E R 6 - Connecting Hosting Panels, it seems that business manager can (at least in theory) take a lot of business operations and handle them from a single server point, is this correct?

    I read the documentation briefly and understood that CBM can do (at least in theory) the following:

    - It can automatically receive the orders from the customers trough website plugins, correct?
    - It can automatically (or after admin approval) create customers, their subscriptions based on service plans and add-on plans, correct?
    - It can automatically handle payment gateways and/or create invoices that are sent trough e-mail on PDF format or printed and sent via regular mail, correct?
    - It can automatically/manually follow the invoice payments and re-send the unpaid invoices, correct?
    - It can automatically register the domains and/or ssl certificates trough a limited number of registrar gateways depending on the payment situation, is that correct?
    - It can automatically re-create the invoices or payments following the preset invoicing period, and even bundle the products to the same invoice if the proration is used in the service plan, correct?
    - It can generate required reports for accounting?
    - and it can handle a X amount of Plesk (and other panels too) servers from centralized, single location, allowing creation of the customers, subscriptions and invoicing done in the single service point, even though the actual physical accounts are distributed to different servers, correct?

    For the first time in several years I honestly believe Parallels is taking actions to right direction with Plesk and it's additions. The new Sitebuilder 5.0 (with 100 instances) is bundled with Plesk 10 license - as well as the Customer managers is bundled as well with possibility to handle 1000 customers with no extra charge. I believe this is a great step to right direction to offer free bundles and broaden the benefit for customers for using Parallels products (just like with Nokia did their Ovi Maps and Ovi Music unlimited services, btw..;)

    So before criticising the new Business Manager, I really would suggest everybody to take a look to document of this and see what you can (possibly) do with it. It could integrate and automate your business to single point and lessen the manual work related the customer account creation, invoicing and domain registration.

    However, after these complimentaries (which I think Parallels is actually in this case really deserved, at least with potential impression I was given with the Business Manager), I also would like to give some critizism:

    - There is awfully low amount of supported domain registries (we would miss for e.g. Joker.com) which we would like to be included in the gateways of CBM. Also most of the european national domain registries are missing. For e.g. we're hosting provider from Finland and to use this CBM we would require to have also gateway to .fi domain names (domain.ficora.fi registry) and simply cannot use the CBM without it.

    - The same goes with languages. There are only a few main languages supported and Finnish isn't (which is obvious) one of them. Translating the languages is just a pain with the current amount of translations required with Plesk10, Sitebuilder and CBM, as well as the site plugins required if we want to use the ordering system of the CBM in our own web pages (for ordering integration).

    - We would also like to see the Finnish payment gateways to main banks (Nordea, OP, Sampo) and Finnish credit card processor (Luottokunta) gateways, just like they're in Parallels Business Automation (http://www.parallels.com/eu/products/pba-standard/).

    However, I undestand that these features are similar from Plesk users from different countries, which would require the same localization options.

    It seem IMHO that there is a lot of good in Parallels Plesk 10 + Sitebuilder 5 + Customer And Business Manager 7.0 which is bundled and offered greatly under the same license. The steps Parallels has taken are for sure good. However, I would like to see the mentioned improvements before we can fully benefit from this product.
     
  7. lhwparis

    lhwparis Guest

    0
     
    i dont think Business Manager is a wrong thing. My stand is that not very much people need such a huge solution and it costs massivly developement time. i need a strong hosting control panel and nothing more i realy wanna see new impressive hosting-management features instead of business manager and i think most other Plesk users think the same way.
     
  8. Scy

    Scy Basic Pleskian

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    I on the contrary think otherwise. I think the Business Manager is something that many of the small businesses would especially benefit, as it offers a complete sollution to handle customers, their invoicing and also the integration to ordering processes and subscription creation processes. This is something control panel manufactures hasn't usually offered (like cPanel, DirectAdmin etc.), but IMHO those are the features that needs to be implemented in every hosting company somehow. If not with automated system, then with manual. Which means extra work in every cases.

    For our cases we're a small sized hosting business (or nearly medium) and have previously done some of our invoicing with in-house built invoicing system + lot of manual client and domain creation, but I have been plannning to implement a full, all-built-in-one -system that would take care of order processses, customer + subscription creation to Plesk, invoicing and also the ticket system. Now it seems that this overwhelming programming potentially doesn't need to be implemented anymore, if the CBM can already take care most of these functions (except the ticket system, which can be implemented with some other open-source ticket handler).

    So IMHO the new CBM integrated in Plesk 10 sound very promising and offers a lot of, especially to small shared hosting businesses, which I think Parallels should concentrate with its products, like Plesk.

    But I agree with you in that, that development of Plesk should not be suffered because of the new CBM. However, many from the funtions offered by the Customer and Business Manager are really needed. Imho there is nothing too much in the feature lists. Everything is required with shared hosting business invoicing and product creation currently offered in CBM.

    Also in the cases user don't need these features and feel that Plesk panel's admin interface gets too complicated, you can always disintegrate CBM from Plesk 10 and have simpler and plainer admin interface of Plesk 10:
    http://kb.odin.com/en/9327

    So imho it's just great. If you don't need CBM, you can remove it. And in case you need it (potentially) can offer centralized command center to do almost everything (except customer support e-mail tickets) in single server location.

    However, there are still some features lacking from CBM which I will gladly to provide Parallels as a development suggestions. I could possibly list them here later.
     
  9. Eurotimmy

    Eurotimmy New Pleskian

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    I will be using the Customer Business Manager for my small hosting business.

    I'm making an investment into my business right now to have a strong platform to operate from.
    I think I've purchased an appropriate FTP and Mail server running on Plesk 10 and the only part I was missing was a way to have some automation built in to the billing part of my business.

    I always enjoyed using the billing feature when I used HELM and now Plesk has answered what I was really wanting from Parallels... having billing and hosting management and a site builder too!

    I'm looking forward to having my Plesk 10 completely configured and migrating my customers to it...
    (just having a little issue with the CBM using the wrong hostname :( )
     
  10. EgidijusS

    EgidijusS Regular Pleskian

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    I think it is great solution, but ... if they give good support. Until now support is ZERO! And it is very sad,
     
  11. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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    Could you please provide me your support ticket IDs where you have not received any help regarding problems with Customer and Business Manager? I will check why you have not received it.
     
  12. EgidijusS

    EgidijusS Regular Pleskian

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    I'm talking globaly about Plesk billing (CBM now). I have owned license of plesk from version 8. Now with version 9.5.3 I'm stuck with integrating plesk billing to that version. Need write custom registrar module to own country registrar, but support zero. I'll waited for new version expecing, that will be easier to implement that, but ... product on the market for 2 monts or more, and there is no documentation about writing custom registrar and payment gateways. I'm talked with account manager and got answer - "Unfortunately now we don’t have such documentation" :( It was possible get information on old forums from modernbill, but, they was closed. As i saw in parallels forums was promises to restore that information, but year pased and still nothing. Sorry for my english.
     
  13. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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  14. EgidijusS

    EgidijusS Regular Pleskian

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    Yes, but did not got answer.
     
  15. fran@

    fran@ Basic Pleskian

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    We are using another billing solution.
    Fran
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  16. EgidijusS

    EgidijusS Regular Pleskian

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    Any news ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  17. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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    I have discussed with responsible guys and they have informed me that unfortunately SDK documentation is not ready yet.
     
  18. EgidijusS

    EgidijusS Regular Pleskian

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    Maybe any date when can expect?
     
  19. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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    Sorry, but I haven't any ETA.
     
  20. 64bithost.com

    64bithost.com Regular Pleskian

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    Business manager for a single plesk instance or for a start-up business may be a good idea, but having to manage 10 different instances of business manager each one installed on a different server may not be a good idea.

    clumsy
     
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